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US consumption of bottled water increased by 7.9% and value sales were up 8.9% on last year, according to new figures from the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC).
The growth puts bottled water on track to overtake carbonated soft drinks as the US’ largest beverage category by volume by 2017, if not by the end of 2016.
“Consumer demand for bottled water looks likely to remain strong in the years ahead. Increases in per capita consumption indicate enthusiasm for a product that consumers regard as a healthful alternative to other beverages,” said Michael Bellas, BMC chairman and CEO. “Americans increased their annual consumption by more than 11 gallons, from 25.4 gallons per person in 2005 to 36.5 gallons a decade later. During the same period, per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks dropped by 12.4 gallons. Per capita consumption of other major beverage categories, like milk and fruit beverages, also fell.”
Wholesale bottled water sales totalled $14.2 billion in 2015, while US bottled water consumption grew by 7.9% to 11.7 billion gallons, up from 10.87 billion gallons in 2014, BMC’s figures showed. In addition, per capita consumption is up 7.1% in 2015, with every person in America drinking an average of 36.5 gallons of bottled water last year.
IBWA vice-president of communications Chris Hogan continued: “There are many attributes that contribute to bottled water’s undeniable appeal to US consumers. Among them are bottled water’s healthfulness, convenience, reliability, and safety.
“Bottled water’s environmental footprint is the lowest of any packaged beverage, according to a life cycle assessment conducted by Quantis in 2010. Bottled water has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. When it comes to overall water use, the bottled water industry is actually a small and efficient water user. Bottled water uses only 0.01% of all water used in the US.”
And Bellas added: “Although it has occasionally been compared with tap water, bottled water, in fact, realised its prominence as a healthful choice for consumers seeking to reduce their consumption of other less healthy packaged beverages. While some consumers have turned away from regular, full-calorie sodas in favour of their diet versions, many others transitioned to bottled water instead.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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